Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Former competitive surfer and Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka is in his element in his home state of Hawaii. However, his partner, fire investigator Mike Riccardi, wants to head to the mainland for a ski trip and reunion with some old buddies of his. As a bitter storm rages outside the condo where they’re staying, one of Mike’s college buddies is feuding with his wife and the other is making sexy overtures to Kimo. Will these tensions ruin the vacation and perhaps even drive a wedge between Kimo and Mike?
Just those words Kimo and Mike, ok just Kimo, can make my heart flutter! I have been in love with Kimo Kanapa’aka when I first met him in Neil S. Plakcy’s Natural Predators (Mahu #7) and started working my way back to the beginning of the series. And with each story I fell deeper and deeper in love with this complicated, nuanced man. Kimo is Hawaiian not just by blood but in the depth of his feelings and emotions. He has a large, extended family he interacts with daily, sometimes hourly depending upon the situation at hand. Hawaii is at his center, it’s his heart and in a sense his stability. Kimo heads into the surf when things get too painful or complicated, needing that to bring him peace and refocus him once more.
But here, Neil S. Plakcy removes Kimo from his safety zone and support system and takes him into the cold mountains in the mainland. In Kimo and Mike, the plot isolates Kimo and Mike from all but their vacation companions due to blizzard conditions. Between the cold, Kimo’s inability to ski (which also removes him from the group), and the stressful couples they are with, things start to get shaky immediately.
I am such a Kimo fan that nothing can detract from any story he is a part of. But for readers new to Kimo and Mike, this short story conveys none of the enormous hurdles and obstacles (many of their own making) they had to overcome to become the couple they are when this story opens. It happened over a number of books, not scenes and their relationship was borne out of enormous pain and anguish each caused the other. Each man is gorgeous in his own multiracial way and people are always hitting on them but never with the history (ok almost never) of one of the couples here. Plus the stress is pushed to overload when the couples disagreements turn physical and Mike and Kimo must balance their professions with their partner’s needs.
This story ended too quickly for me. Of course, I feel that way about all Kimo Kanapa’aka and his Mahu stories (Mahu is Hawaiian for homosexual). This will give you just enough of a taste of this tantalizing couple to want more and send you to the first story Mahu (Mahu #1). It’s a swift read yet it is sturdy in plot and strong in characterizations. Add it to your TBR list today along with the other Storming Love: Blizzard stories. If I was the type to say I ♥heart this book, well, then this is where it would happen. I ♥ this book! Normally I wouldn’t do that. See what Neil S. Plakcy and Kimo make me do?
Cover artist: Kris Jacen does a nice job of branding the series although I could wish for a little more individualization as far as the couples go.
ebook, 35 pages
Published January 30th 2015 by MLR Press
seriesStorming Love: Blizzard #2
Books in the Storming Love: Blizzard series are:
- Jens & Elliot (Storming Love: Blizzard #1)
Kimo & Mike (Storming Love: Blizzard #2)
Seth and Casey (Storming Love, Blizzard #3)
Layne, River & Damion (Storming Love: Blizzard #4) by Vicktor Alexander (release date: 2/13/15)
Gavin & Morgan (Storming Love: Blizzard #5) by Nicole Dennis (release date: 2/20/15)
Stokes & Ford (Storming Love: Blizzard #6) by Jackie Nacht (release date: 2/27/15)